Increasing Access and Opportunity

Creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Columbia Business School starts with recognizing that we do not all have the same access to resources and opportunities. Racism and sexism have created disparate barriers, experiences, and outcomes for underrepresented minorities and women in academia and in business. We must be proactive about creating equitable access to, and opportunities for, those who have historically been underrepresented in our community.

Below please find the Community Diversity section of our annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Annual Report and an outline of how CBS works to increase equitable access and opportunity. The full report can be found here.


Full-Time Faculty Diversity

Columbia Business School (CBS) remains committed to increasing the gender and racial diversity of its faculty in the short and long term, so that their representation more closely reflects their availability pools in the field of business. We are also committed to increasing the diversity of our PhD program, and are working collaboratively to increase diversity of PhD programs of peer schools, to build a robust pipeline for full-time faculty recruitment.

In 2018, CBS set a five-year goal to achieve 22.5% female and 8% underrepresented minority (URM) (Black and Hispanic and/or Latinx) tenured or tenure-track faculty. As of July 1, 2020, the tenured and tenure-track faculty of Columbia Business School includes 130 faculty members, 32 female faculty members (24.6%), three Black faculty members (2.3%), and four Hispanic and/or Latinx faculty members (3.1%). Forty-two percent of junior faculty (21 out of 50) on the tenure-track are women, which is promising for the future gender diversity of full-time faculty. While we have made progress, the School has not yet achieved the level of diversity to which we aspire. We will continue to work on increasing the diversity of our faculty through hiring, promotion, retention, and ensuring that all faculty feel a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Adjunct Faculty Diversity

Adjunct faculty are an important part of the CBS community. They are experienced practitioners who teach some of the most popular courses in our curriculum, and collectively teach a significant portion of our course sections. CBS is committed to continuous improvement of the quality and diversity of its adjunct faculty.

In Fall 2020, in partnership with the CBS Senior Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, the Senior Vice Dean for Curriculum and Programs, and the entire Executive Committee, the DEI Initiative established an adjunct faculty hiring policy to increase the presence of women and underrepresented minorities in our adjunct faculty ranks. We aim to match, and even try to exceed, the diversity in our student body in our adjunct faculty within five years.

In the year 2019–2020, CBS had 146 adjunct faculty (22 female, 15%) who taught 244 sections in aggregate. In the year 2020–2021, CBS had 167 adjunct faculty (26 female, 16%) who taught 240 sections in aggregate.


Staff Diversity

The staff community at Columbia Business School numbers 336 (2021) and is a significant part of the School’s ecosystem. (See Dashboard for the demographics of our staff community over the last four years.) Though there is diverse gender representation throughout the administrative ranks of the School, the data show that Black, Indigenous, and people of color are in the minority, especially in the most senior level positions. In 2020, staff working groups came together to work with Human Resources and the Vice Dean of Administration to develop and recommend strategies for closing the gaps in representation, and to create pipelines to leadership for underrepresented minorities.  


MBA Student Diversity

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Admissions Office works to increase the representation of Black, Hispanic and/or Latinx, LGBTQ+, women, and veteran members in our community through their diversity recruitment efforts. The Admissions team offers dozens of events each year to give prospective students the opportunity to connect with current students from specific affinity clubs, including five flagship events targeting the recruitment of specific underrepresented populations.

Columbia Business School is affiliated with many diversity recruitment-focused programs and associations, including Management Leadership for Tomorrow, The Robert Toigo Foundation, the Riordan Fellows Program, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, the Forté Foundation, Reaching Out MBA, CHecK uS Out (a multi-school admissions event for LGBTQ+ prospective students that takes place in New York City and San Francisco each fall), the Yellow Ribbon Program, and the Ten School Diversity Alliance, a joint effort by the nation's leading business schools to affect and influence the diversity of MBA campuses, organization, and the global community.

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management: In March 2021, Columbia Business School joined The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a national nonprofit organization focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate business education and American business. The Consortium works with top-ranked MBA programs around the country to increase underrepresented minority students in business education and corporate leadership. The membership, effective beginning July 1, 2021, represents CBS’ commitment to diversifying our MBA pipeline and bringing in more students who identify as Black, Hispanic and/or Latinx, and Indigenous/Native American, in addition to others who are committed to The Consortium’s vision. This new partnership is a significant step in our goal to enhance and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion as a top business school.

Admissions Advocates Program: In partnership with External Relations and the Office of Admissions, the Admissions Advocates program connects Black and Hispanic and/or Latinx admitted MBA students to alumni from our African American Alumni Association (4A) and the Hispanic Alumni Association in an effort to increase yield for MBA admitted students who are part of these communities.

Perelman Scholarship Fund: In April 2021, CBS announced the creation of the Perelman Scholarship Fund, a permanently endowed source of financial aid made possible by significant gifts from Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. The scholarship fund will offer tuition awards for students from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, with the aim of expanding a more diverse generation of business leaders. Columbia Business School will welcome its first class of Perelman Scholars in September 2022, following the opening of the School’s new Manhattanville campus in January 2022.

The African American Alumni Association (4A) Committee Scholarship Fund: In 1994, members of the CBS African American Alumni Association (4A) spearheaded the creation of the endowed 4A Scholarship Fund to enable the School to provide scholarships to Black MBA students. In 2020–2021, in partnership with the 4A Committee, External Relations launched an ambitious five-year fundraising campaign, followed by a match from the Dean, to significantly grow the 4A Scholarship Fund.

Pipeline Partnerships: In addition to building the immediate pre-MBA pipeline to diversify our MBA student body, CBS has also been building relationships with nonprofit organizations that work with high school and college students in order to build awareness about MBA programs. An example is Scholarship Plus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping outstanding low-income students graduate from college. We have created awareness of summer internships and the Predoctoral Fellows programs, as well as the deferred enrollment MBA program, with these students.

EMBA Student Diversity

Between 2016 and 2020, the diversity of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) entering classes saw the most improvement among female (34% to 41%) and LGBTQ+ (2% to 11%) students. See all figures in Dashboard.

MS Student Diversity

Between 2016 and 2020, the diversity of the Master of Science (MS) entering classes saw generally consistent improvement among international (79% to 90%), female (26% to 67%), and LGBTQ+ (0% to 11%) students. See all figures in Dashboard.

PhD Student Diversity

Summer Research Internships: We are committed to increasing summer internship opportunities for URM undergraduate students interested in business research. Summer internship programs offer interns the opportunity to work closely with faculty on a summer research project. We have identified The Leadership Alliance as a partner that can help us attract diverse candidates to these summer internship programs. The Alliance runs the Summer Research-Early Identification Program (SR-EIP), which is “a fully paid summer internship that provides undergraduates with training and mentoring in the principles underlying the conduct of research and prepares them to pursue competitive applications to PhD or MD-PhD programs.”

Columbia Undergraduate Business Scholarship (CUBS) Program: The mission of CUBS is to increase participation of Columbia and Barnard undergraduates from underrepresented groups in business research. CUBS recipients are paired with faculty for whom they work as paid research assistants and gain exposure to the research challenges tackled in business school settings, learn basic research and data-analytics skills, and gain insight into careers in academia. The 10 CUBS recipients include five men and five women; four identify as African American, two as Hispanic and/or Latinx, one as Hispanic-Asian, and one undisclosed, while two are international students from Africa.

The PhD Project: Columbia Business School is a member of The PhD Project and will be an even more active member going forward. The PhD Project helps Black and/or African Americans, Latinx and/or Hispanic Americans, and Indigenous/Native Americans attain their business PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) and become the business professors who will mentor the next generation of leaders. We are committed to having faculty representatives attend the annual conference.

PREDOC: Columbia Business School is an active member of the Pathways to Research and Doctoral Careers (PREDOC) consortium, whose goal is to increase the representation of women and people of color traditionally underrepresented in the quantitative social sciences by removing barriers to graduate training. Lack of awareness and information on available research opportunities, costs, and lack of mentorship are some of the barriers keeping women and people of color from being represented in the quantitative social sciences at rates similar to those observed in STEM fields.

Predoctoral Fellowships: This program provides an opportunity to gain experience in academic research, with a special focus on fields such as Accounting; Decision, Risk & Operations; Economics; Finance; Management; and Marketing. The two-year program helps fellows earn admittance to PhD programs and prepares them for successful graduate school careers.

The Rising Scholars Conference: This conference is a platform for diverse PhD and postdoctoral students from across the country to present their research and interact with faculty. The conference will now rotate between the M7 (magnificent seven) schools, and Columbia Business School is committed to participating and hosting it.